Outdoor Programming in Higher Education: Exploring Goals and Sense of Community in The Trinity College Quest Program
Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
Outdoor education is a nuanced aspect of experiential learning which is growing in relevance across all levels of education. Such programming greatly contributes to student growth and community building. Previous literature has highlighted the benefits of outdoor programming in the higher education setting, noting that it allows students to adapt better to their college, feel a greater sense of community, and engage in personal growth. Trinity College’s Quest program is an outdoor education program which aims to contribute to students’ experience at Trinity. Through a quantitative study focusing on Quest, this paper attempts to answer the questions: Do students who participated in the Trinity College Quest Program report the program’s goals to be effective? Does the Trinity College Quest program contribute to students’ sense of community on Trinity’s campus? After analyzing my findings, I can conclude that students who have participated in Quest programming perceive Quest to be an effective program which meets its goals and contributes to a sense of community on Trinity’s campus. However, my research also indicates that student demographics—gender identity, race, and class year— potentially impacts students’ experiences and perceptions. Thus, I argue that while the Quest program is generally impactful and beneficial, not all students have the same experiences when it comes to building community through Quest, and further work can be done to improve the program when it comes to accessibility and inclusion.
Doyle, Catherine, "Outdoor Programming in Higher Education: Exploring Goals and Sense of Community in The Trinity College Quest Program". Senior Theses, Trinity College, Hartford, CT 2023.
Trinity College Digital Repository, https://digitalrepository.trincoll.edu/theses/1034
Senior thesis completed at Trinity College, Hartford CT for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Educational Studies.